21 When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.” 22 Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke.
Jesus had spoken in vague terms about someone who would betray Him (Jn 6:70; 13:10, 18). Now He made this point very clear: His traitor would be one of His own disciples!
When Jesus had said these things,
After Jesus made His statements about humility and service (vv. 12-20), He shifted to a new subject. The disciples had not yet gathered the gravity of the situation that Jesus faced.
He was troubled in spirit,
Jesus anticipated the imminent prospect of betrayal by Judas and His impending death on the cross. He entered into deep anguish and turmoil over the coming events (cf. Jn 11:33). He was true humanity as well as deity. Jesus was clearly moved by what was to happen in just a few hours. He was no stoic; He was “a man of sorrows.”
and testified and said,
Jesus “testified” with a solemn oath about the betrayal of Judas. This was no speculation on His part but something that the disciples could count on to be true.
“Most assuredly, I say to you,
Jesus made another of His solemn announcements of authority in this chapter. This was a categorical statement.
one of you will betray Me.”
The announcement of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus was simple and direct. He wanted His disciples to make sure they understood what He meant by quoting Psalm 41:9 in verse 18. Its meaning is very clear. These words aroused deep dismay in the disciples. All of this was for 30 pieces of silver.
Then the disciples looked at one another,
We can imagine the bewilderment of the disciples about the betrayal of Jesus. They were totally perplexed and in consternation about this revelation.
perplexed about whom He spoke.
None of the disciples suspected that Judas could or would betray Jesus. He hid his duplicity very well. They must have wondered how someone in such close proximity to Jesus could betray Him. The synoptics reveal the disciples’ questioning about who Jesus might have been referring to. None of them suspected Judas as the betrayer; his duplicity served him well.
Judas was not the only disciple to eat of the dish, so none of the disciples could tell who it was that was going to betray Jesus.
Times of duress are opportunities to examine ourselves.
The disciples were bewildered and confused that a traitor was among them. They were in a phase of self-doubt. It probably ignited suspicion of others: if someone among them could conceal extended unbelief, then there might be others.
It is important that we examine ourselves from time to time to determine where we are spiritually and to ask God to expose any self-hidden flaws in our character (1 Co 11:28; Ps 139:23, 24).